The Big Easy = The Big Dirty: New Orleans Named 7th Dirtiest City in the U.S.

09:00 January 22, 2021
By: Kellie Arevalo

According to, New Orleans has been listed just below New York City as the seventh dirtiest city in the U.S., in a study of 200 of the biggest cities across the country. This conclusion was determined based on many factors including, but not limited to: mice or rat infestations, waste regulations, air quality, water quality, pollution, and litter. LawnStarter notes, "The filthiest cities are often also the largest, as five of the 10 most populated U.S. cities found their way into our own Top 10 list. These megacities performed especially badly in our living-conditions metrics..."

Many notable big cities scored much better than New Orleans in the rankings, such as Chicago, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. New Orleans's cockroach problem could be particularly blameworthy for its unappealing ranking, as warm subtropical climates provide ideal conditions that encourage increased bug problems throughout big cities. LawnStarter's ranking also analyzed the number of homes within big cities that report having mold—a significant aspect to consider in a city like New Orleans that is prone to flooding, heavy rainstorms, and weighty humidity levels.

For a city like New Orleans, this study is particularly important, because New Orleans relies heavily on its tourism industry for revenue. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of New Orleans's most famous tourist hot spots including the French Quarter have already taken a hit financially following last year's lockdown and this year's capacity restrictions. This study may worsen the blow. Additionally, air quality plays a huge role in the COVID-19 pandemic, a virus that largely affects the respiratory system. It is important that air quality throughout New Orleans improves. Overall, it is important that this study encourages New Orleanians to consider ways in which this ranking can be changed for the better. Cleaner cities host happier and healthier residents. New Orleans is a city rich in culture and historical infrastructure that must be preserved and protected.

For more information and to read the full study, visit

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